Thursday, 3 February 2011

Mary Bryars

Former Fairlynch Museum steward Mary Bryars

Many volunteer helpers at Fairlynch Museum were sorry to hear of the recent death of Mary Bryars. Along with her husband Denys, Mary moved to Budleigh Salterton in 1980. Five years later, as many married couples used to and still do, they volunteered to become stewards at Fairlynch.

"He did the desk, she did upstairs," recalls Sylvia Merkel, who organises the stewards' rota. Denys, who had come to live in Budleigh Salterton after retiring as company chairman of the Sheffield Smelting Company, is remembered by Sylvia as "a lovely man with a white beard."

Mary, who lived to the great age of 94, made many friends among her fellow-stewards and was also much involved with the church. Sadly, she was widowed but carried on the work of being a steward at Fairlynch until she moved to live at Shandford Care Home on Station Road.

"There have been 400 stewards since 1967 when Fairlynch opened in Budleigh Salterton," says the Museum's co-founder Joy Gawne. "And we're so grateful to every one of them. Without their help Fairlynch would not survive and would go the way of many other museums in small towns."

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